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The Value Paradox – Inducting Psychology Undergraduates in a Time of Austerity

Jones, Tim and Upton, Penney (2012) The Value Paradox – Inducting Psychology Undergraduates in a Time of Austerity. In: Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology Inaugural Conference, 18th-20th April 2012, Grand Connaught Rooms, London. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper presents the importance of inducting new undergraduate students in psychology during a period of financial instability and discusses ideas for best practice. The challenges facing UK higher education are both well documented and controversial; however, pitted against this context is the requirement for psychology departments to provide an increasingly rich and diverse university experience for students, whilst ensuring progression and retention remain central to undergraduate provision. Despite the recognition that induction is of upmost importance in ensuring a successful transition from pre-tertiary to higher education, many universities are faced with changing budgets across all aspects of academic life. Such a challenge presents departments with a unique paradox since student expectations continue to rise as the dominance of consumerism reaches fruition, whilst budgets continue to decrease. In acknowledging the importance of induction for both the overall student experience and for retention, the University of Worcester designed and successfully implemented an induction programme on a considerably reduced budget. A satisfaction questionnaire was completed by 230 undergraduate students inducted in 2011 and the results compared to those of 140 students from 2010 (where the induction budget was considerably higher). The results indicate similar levels of satisfaction and engagement with induction activities and whilst an ‘off-site’ activity remains key to the success of induction, such an activity doesn't have to present considerable expense. This paper provides an overview of designing an induction programme on a reduced budget, presents satisfaction results from undergraduate students who completed induction in both 2010 and 2011, and presents suggestions for best-practice in the design of induction events for psychology undergraduates.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Uncontrolled Keywords: Induction week, student transition, student satisfaction
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Health and Society
Depositing User: Charlotte Taylor
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2013 13:45
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2013 13:45
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2147

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